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Old 01-14-2010, 11:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Is anyone from Nigeria or been there recently?
My ex, who is from Nigeria, wants to start planning a trip for DD. I would be welcome to come along also, which I intend to do because I would like to know more about my own daughter's heritage.
Before we split up, we had talked about taking DD to Nigeria when she was a young teenager, so she would understand more and remember the experience. My ex also said he wanted to visit on his own first, because the Nigeria he remembers he said was not a very safe place. (He left in '93). His tune seems to have changed now and it concerns me. There is no plan for him to visit first, and he wants to take her sooner rather than later. DD is four now. Also, DD has no vaccinations, so that might be another issue to visit, I haven't even looked into what might be needed for travel to Nigeria.
Any comments and advice would be greatly appreciated. I have problems taking my ex's word on anything, for reasons not to be detailed here, and I think his desire to take DD to Nigeria have more to do with keeping up with his brothers, who visit home frequently. I don't think he would purposely put DD in harms way, but I do think his judgement can get severly clouded. Is Nigeria safe now? Clean and what about the vaccinations? Where to go and where not to go within the country? I am white, is this a big problem?
Thanks in advance!
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Old 01-15-2010, 12:06 AM
 
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I've never been there. But I know someone who has, this was what I was told about it 2 years ago. This friend would speak of violence occurring on the streets frequently, like ppl being beaten right in front of traffic and no one doing anything about it. Police and many officials are/were corrupt. Sometimes you had to pay off would be criminals just to get from one part of town to another. IDK, but everything I was told about it scared the crap out of me. I would do A LOT of research before consenting to allow your DD to go there, esp. at this young age. Since you also speak like there are some trust issue's between you and your X, I would find out what would happen if he tried to take DD and hide her from you while there. It's a scary, horrible thought, but in many places you as a woman might have few rights and some societies believe children belong with the families of their fathers and that is the social rule. I'm not sure what Nigeria's stance is on this, but I would find out for sure.

I think there might also be some more travel warnings regarding Nigeria now after the underwear bomber incident.

TBH, if I had trust issues with a childs father, (which I do) and this person wanted to take DD and I someplace where we would be outsiders, not know the language or social norms, someplace where my ability to protect myself and DD would be severely hampered, I wouldn't do it. I'm all for traveling and getting to know your DD's other culture, but this doesn't sound like the right time to make such a trip.
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Old 01-15-2010, 01:46 AM
 
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I would be very concerned about the real possibility of child abduction. Women have very few rights there as mothers, especially if your husband is Muslim. Islamic personal status laws would apply in a custody battle. Even if your ex hasn't lived there in many years, there is often a pull of the culture that daughters especially should be raised "their" way. (I know I sound biased, but I'm married to a North African Muslim and we visit his home country often. It's important to know your rights).

I would study custody laws, citizenship laws (can he get a nigerian birth certificate for your daughter without your consent and knowledge, for example) before even considering going.
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Old 01-15-2010, 09:43 AM
 
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Here is the current travel warning for Nigeria. I would definitely register with the embassy if you go.

http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/tw/tw_928.html
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Old 01-15-2010, 01:05 PM
 
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I agree with the other posters. Proceed with caution, both because of the concern about violence, and because of your iffy relationship with her father.

Can you afford to bring someone with you?

For living accomodations, maybe look into a smallish NGO or mission guest house? In our experience (in Ethiopia), places like that are very close to local folks and culture and would have the connections needed to help you out if things went sour. Of course register with the embassy, but it's good to have aquaintances who can help you out, too. They will be able to tell you which areas are safe and which are not, and maybe get you connected with a local translator/guide/bodyguard who they know to be trustworthy.
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Old 01-16-2010, 01:22 AM
 
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I would NOT do this...there is plenty of time for her to experience Nigeria in years to come, not at four...it is not physically safe, particularly if she's not vaccinated...just my opinion... I doubt there is such a huge benefit anyway at 4 yrs old...
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Old 01-16-2010, 01:49 AM
 
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Does your child have a passport? If not, I would get one for her and lock it up. I have been told that once you get one for a child, you can't get a second one. I would not let my ex take my child out of the country at that age for any reason, and I would take the passport step to prevent it happening without my knowledge. I would be suspicious about possible abduction, but that is just me.
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Old 01-18-2010, 08:23 AM
 
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I think the safety of Nigeria depends greatly on which area you are talking about going to.
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Old 01-20-2010, 12:28 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you all for the replies. I am going to get her a passport. He hasn't mentioned anything about it again, but now I feel better prepared for a discussion about a visit. I'm not concerned about an abduction, especially since he has asked me to go as well, but we do have a history of mistrust and it is wise for me to be cautious. He is not Muslim but I will look into citizen laws there and contacting the embassy is sound advice. But all in all, I won't let it happen at this age. Her father doesn't want to vaccinate her, and I think bringing that up alone might change his mind for now. Thank you again for your replies!
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